2265 North Clybourn Avenue    Chicago, IL 60614    P: 773.296.6700     F: 773.296.1131

Advances in Fibromyalgia: Part 2

Click here for the original post.

Doctors like me who work with many fibromyalgia (and chronic fatigue) patients try a variety of alternative approaches. These make perfect sense physiologically because they address the root cause of fibro, rather than supplying yet another painkiller (like Lyrica).

And some of these approaches are actually being embraced, albeit reluctantly, by some mainstream physicians.

These treatments are not so much directed at the pain component as the utterly intractable sense of exhaustion, unrefreshing sleep, and brain fog. Both the diagnostic tests and most of the treatments do require a doctor’s prescription, so if you’re an out-of-town reader, you might show this article to your personal physician.

To understand what follows, picture unchecked stress slamming into your stress-receptor endocrine glands: your adrenal glands, thyroid, ovaries/testicles, and pituitary, the master gland that controls them all from its perch under your brain.

When your doctor says “your blood tests are normal,” she’s not testing the function of these endocrine glands. But for most people who have fibro, these abnormalities frequently appear:

Serotonin: levels of this stress-protecting brain chemical (neurotransmitter) are low.
Pituitary gland: levels, measured as insulin-like growth factor, are low.
Adrenal glands: levels, measured as cortisol and DHEA (a pre-hormone that converts to other hormones as needed), are low.
Thyroid gland: levels of thyroid hormones, measured by taking your basal body temperature, are low.
• Ovaries: levels of the sex hormones–estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone–are all low, causing PMS and low sex drive.

Treatments
Your primary job is to reduce stress. Sometimes, in a vicious cycle, the pain/fatigue/absence of medical or family support are your main stressors. Once you limit stress and start increasing your serotonin stress buffer (first item below, and I’ll discuss it more next time), you can break the cycle and can start eliminating medications.

Your individual treatment depends on the results of your lab tests, so please do show this list to your doctor. And realize that if she asks you to start taking one or more of the following, you probably won’t be on it forever.

To boost serotonin: St. John’s wort, 5HTP, B complex, Fish Oil, and/or a conventional antidepressant (Lexapro, Cymbalta).
Pituitary: If you have low insulin-like growth factor (IGF) 1, consider growth hormone precursors. These are amino acids that help your body make more growth hormone and are sold without a prescription. Short-term growth hormone injections can help, but they’re not approved by the FDA for this purpose and as a result are not covered by insurance (they cost about $300 a month). In the low doses needed to restore IGF levels, growth hormone injections are safe.
Adrenals: DHEA, cortisol (Cortef).
Thyroid: Armour thyroid (T3/T4) or Cytomel (pure T3).
Ovaries: Bio-identical replacement hormones from a compounding pharmacy.


Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, delicious and time-saving recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!

BIRTHDAY

Health Tips

Dr. Edelberg’s Health Tips contain concise bits of advice, medical news, nutritional supplement and pharmaceutical updates, and stress relief ideas. With every Health Tip, you’ll also receive an easy, delicious, and healthful recipe.

When you sign up to receive Health Tips, you can look forward to Dr. Edelberg’s smart and very current observations arriving in your in-box weekly. They’re packed with helpful information and are often slightly irreverent. One of the most common responses to the tips is “I wish my doctor talked to me like this!”

Quick Connect

Get One Click Access to our

patient-portal

The Knowledge Base

Patient education is an integral part of our practice. Here you will find a comprehensive collection of staff articles, descriptions of therapies and nutritional supplements, information addressing your health concerns, and the latest research on nutritional supplements and alternative therapies.

Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!

Upcoming Workshops

***WholeHealth for Winter Digestion
Saturday December 1, 2018, 10:30am-12:30pm
An Integrative Workshop with Yoga Therapist Renee Zambo, Dietitian Olivia Wagner, and Occupational Therapist Valarie McConville
Fee: $75.00 (includes take home materials and snacks)

Do you suffer from a sluggish digestive system, constipation, and/or bloating? Does it feel like those symptoms get worse as we head toward the holidays and winter season?  Are you looking for ways to optimize your digestion?  

Join us for two valuable hours of digestive health and cleansing!

Space is limited and registration is required.
Please register online.
Call the Center for additional information at (773) 296-6700
More>>

 

***Healing Touch for Focus, Creativity, and Stress Management
Thursday, December 6, 2018, 5:45-7:30
Katie Oberlin, HTCP/I
Healing Touch Certified Practitioner/Instructor
Fee: $55.00 (includes take-home materials)

Are you feeling overwhelmed and stressed at the end of the year? Want to find a way to feel less scattered and more focused? In this workshop, you will learn how to use energy healing to feel more centered and grounded so you can bring more clarity and creativity to your life and work.

Space is limited and registration is required.
Please register online.
Call the Center for additional information at (773) 296-6700
More>>

 

**Winter Solstice Celebration: Drumming Circle and Shamanic Healing
Wednesday, December 19, 2018, 5:45-7:30pm
Katie OberlinHTCP/I
Healing Touch Certified Practitioner/Instructor
Fee: $55.00

Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season to enter the stillpoint of the Winter Solstice, reflect on the lessons of 2018, and set intentions for the new year. This will be an evening of individual and group healing, ceremony, and celebration.

Space is limited and registration is required.
Please register online.
Call the Center for additional information at (773) 296-6700
More>>

Recent Health Tips

  • Making Sense of “Controversial” Diagnoses

    I’m warning you in advance. You’re entering a minefield here, with explosive views among seemingly conservative health care professionals. At least wear a helmet. Protective eyewear wouldn’t hurt either. You wouldn’t think a slew of conditions you’ve heard about (including chronic Lyme disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic Epstein-Barr, toxic mold syndrome, food sensitivities, intestinal dysbiosis, chronic inflammatory response syndrome, and mast cell activation syndrome) Read More

  • Getting Tough With Your Immune System

    No reasonable physician (I modestly include myself here) can refrain from crowing delightedly when a clinical study confirms the value of a treatment he or she had been using for years, even if that treatment had contradicted prevailing standards. Ever since I learned something about natural medicine, I’ve been reluctant to prescribe antibiotics for respiratory tract infections, such as colds, sore throats, and bronchitis. Many physicians had Read More

  • For A Longer Life…Stand Up Now!

    By far the most common answer to my question, “Exercising these days?” is “Not enough.” This is usually accompanied by the briefest flicker of melancholy regret, as if by such a confession my patient has permanently abandoned the hopes and dreams of both a svelte body and enviable longevity. “Don’t worry,” I say, “It’s just a temporary glitch. You’ll start up again.” (Nod, nod). I Read More

December Sale: 20% Off the UltraLux IV Light Box

Full Spectrum Solutions has been an industry leader for the past 20 years, offering therapeutic lighting that is made right here in the Midwest (Michigan). The UltraLux IV is the first and only LED light therapy unit on the market that is both fully adjustable. Unlike many of their competitors, they boast a high CRI rating (90+) and a lifetime warranty so you never have to purchase replacement bulbs again. Full spectrum light therapy is often recommended in cases of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) to help make up for the sunlight that is missing from these shorter, winter days.

To learn more about and purchase the UltraLux IV, click here.

To see past Health Tips on Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and Dr. Edelberg’s recommendations, including a full spectrum light box like the UltraLux IV, click here.